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Tuning Vista's Network Tuning

Turn off auto-tuning and you'll get better performance

MCPmag.com reader Scott Brondel e-mailed an interesting problem not long ago that I thought fitting to share. He was having some interesting problems with network slowness that seemed to correlate with an upgrade to Windows Vista.

"My first sign of trouble was trying to join a newly installed Vista Enterprise laptop to our domain," he writes. "It took about 10 minutes before I got the 'Welcome to the Domain' pop-up, which ordinarily would be a 15-second process. It took quite a few reboots after that with lots of 'gpupdate /force' commands to get all the GPOs applied too."

He adds: "I took the laptop home, and started reinstalling my applications. After installing Lotus Notes, I found that trying to talk directly to the server would time-out inside a couple of minutes. A Notes database replication would take hours before finally failing.

"I went back to the office the next day and found that Lotus still wouldn't replicate, trying to RDP to servers outside of my local subnet would either time-out or just give me the gray background screen. Just about anything not on my local subnet was hit-or-miss.

"I remembered hearing that about some weird network-related problems with Vista. The problem could be that its automatic network tuning feature is attempting to try lots of different packet sizes."

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Turns out that you may need to tune Vista's automatic network tuning -- by turning it off. You can do this with the command netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled. It worked for Scott!

If you've got some interesting Vista war stories, please drop me a line at [email protected]. We'd love to hear them and the most interesting ones will definitely get printed!

About the Author

Greg Shields is Author Evangelist with PluralSight, and is a globally-recognized expert on systems management, virtualization, and cloud technologies. A multiple-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP, VMware vExpert, and Citrix CTP awards, Greg is a contributing editor for Redmond Magazine and Virtualization Review Magazine, and is a frequent speaker at IT conferences worldwide. Reach him on Twitter at @concentratedgreg.

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